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Short-Range Missiles Fired By North Korea

North Korea has fired two short-range missiles into the sea, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

They were launched over the sea early on Thursday, from Wonsan on North Korea’s east coast.

A JCS official said at least one of the missiles travelled about 690km (428 miles) and appeared to be a new design. It marks the first time North Korea has fired any missiles since leader Kim Jong-un’s impromptu meeting with Donald Trump late last month. It also comes after anger from the North over planned military exercises between South Korea and the US, an annual event. The North warned they could affect the resumption of denuclearisation talks.

The first missile was launched at about 05:34 Thursday local time (20:34 GMT Wednesday) and the second at 05:57, said the JCS.

Initial reports said both missiles travelled about 430km, reaching an altitude of 50km, before falling into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea. But after analysis from US and South Korean intelligence officials, the JCS said at least one was likely to have been a “new type of missile”.

Japan’s defence minister said the launches did not reach Japanese waters and had no immediate impact on its national security. It is not clear if North Korean leader Kim Jong-un oversaw Thursday’s launch.

South Korea’s defence ministry has urged Pyongyang to stop acts that it said were unhelpful for easing tension, reported Reuters.